Our skin has a natural barrier that prevents it from losing too much moisture. This barrier is made up of corneocytes and
- a thin film of grease on the skin. This alleviates the harmful influence of water on the skin
- structural lipids rich in linoleic acid that are located between the corneocytes and flexibly link them together
- natural moisturising factors that help to stabilise the skin’s moisture content
Together with the corneocytes, all these form a protective wall structure which leaves no opportunity for harmful substances to penetrate our skin.
If, however, the structural lipids and moisturising factors are stripped away by overly frequent bathing, showering or swimming or are no longer produced in sufficient amounts e.g. because of ageing, the corneocytes separate from one another, creating gaps in the skin’s protective barrier. Whether as a result of internal or external causes, the result is always the same – dry, flaky, rough skin that is susceptible to inflammation and itchiness.
To protect the skin against barrier breakdowns and the depletion of lipids and moisture, it is vital that the skin’s lipids and other essential components of healthy skin are constantly replenished. Linoleic acid is particularly significant in this respect. The body cannot produce this linoleic acid on its own – like a vitamin, it must be taken in on a regular basis to maintain healthy skin.
It can be directly provided to the skin by appropriate skin care products (e.g. Linola Lotion). For very dry skin and during winter in particular, using skin care products with a higher lipid level is recommended.